On August 6th and 9th, Japanese officials and citizens marked the 66th anniversary of the atomic-bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The tributes arrived during particularly volatile debate about the nation's reliance on nuclear energy, especially surrounding the continued allegations of government and corporate misconduct during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis.
This Tuesday, reported the AFP, the city of Nagasaki used the anniversary to call "for a shift from nuclear power to renewable energy." In a statement, Mayor Tomihisa Taue affirmed that "no matter how long it will take, it is necessary to promote the development of renewable energies in place of nuclear power in a bid to transform ourselves into a society with a safer energy base." A poll of Japanese citizens cited by NPR found that 70 percent of the nation wants nuclear energy "phased out."
Below we've highlighted a few of the recent scenes marking the anniversaries at the Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima and at the Peace Park and Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki:
"Buddhist followers wait to take part in a lantern parade in prayer for peace around the illuminated Atomic Bomb Dome in Hiroshima, western Japan on the eve of the 66th anniversary of the world's first atomic bombing on the city, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011." Associated Press:
"With the backdrop of the Atomic Bomb Dome, paper lanterns float down along Motoyasu River at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima, western Japan, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011." Associated Press:
"Catholics pray for the victims of the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki during a morning mass on the 66th anniversary of the bombing at Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki on August 9, 2011." Getty Images:
"Doves fly over the Peace Monument during a service to mark the 66th anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing of Nagasaki at Peace Park in Nagasaki on August 9, 2011." Getty Images:
"Protesters bearing anti-nuclear face-painting take part in an anti-nuclear march in Hiroshima August 6, 2011." Reuters:
"Protesters shout slogans at an anti-nuclear march in Hiroshima August 6, 2011." Reuters: